Washington, D.C.—The boatload of more than 350 Haitians, including several children, that arrived off the Florida Keys on Sunday is a stark reminder of a refugee situation in the United States’ backyard that we have long ignored. It is an emergency in which the United States can take direct humanitarian action to save lives and prevent unfathomable suffering. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) urges the Biden Administration to refrain from returning these Haitians and to halt the deportation of all Haitians in the United States to the violence and instability that pervades their homeland.
“The United States can and should do better by Haitian refugees,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “We failed the thousands of Haitians who fled to Del Rio last year, as we have consistently failed thousands of others who sought safety in the United States over the last several decades. We can look at the remarkable reception countries neighboring Ukraine are providing to refugees fleeing vicious violence and instability. Europe is demonstrating enormous compassion by taking in hundreds of thousands of people at their most vulnerable. In turn, the United States can shoulder the protection of Haitians fleeing political persecution, instability, widespread violence, and desolation caused by natural disasters. As the most vulnerable of all, Haitian children should be provided access to protection and safety as a priority.”
The Biden Administration is regularly expelling thousands of Haitians, including women, children, and infants, mostly under Title 42, and deporting others.
KIND urges the Administration to stop deporting and expelling Haitians and asks it to consider expanding Temporary Protected Status to those who arrived in United States after May 2021.
“While there is much anguish in the world at this moment, the United States has a chance to alleviate some of that pain by leaning into our compassion and allowing Haitians to access safety and freedom from deportation. This is a time to reflect on how we as a nation receive the most vulnerable at our borders, including children, and to live out our values by providing protection to those who need it most,” Young added.
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